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Listening for Mission in your Context

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Presentation on theme: "Listening for Mission in your Context"— Presentation transcript:


2 Listening for Mission in your Context

3 fresh expressions and mission projects - the fruit of inculturation

4 inculturation begins with listening
culture where Gospel is being shared Inculturation God speaks – His Gospel church/team sharing the Gospel

5 Inculturation begins with listening -
Incarnational mission is a community process “from below” We need to move From detailed advance planning ..... to discernment in context Inculturation is essentially a community process from below. You can’t do it by analysing a culture from a distance - and then setting up a diocesan programme to create churches in that particular shape. You can’y have a handbook which tells yIt is about watching and listening where the Holy Spirit is moving and seeking to go with Him. This has implications for the recommendations of the report.

6 The countryside is changing....
In UK factors would include... From agricultural economy to tourism & commuting Greater mobility Weakening sense of village community Less experience of church in rural dwellers than in the past Community through “networks” Young adults migrating to urban areas Consumer culture - “buying into ideas” DO YOU RECOGNISE SIMILAR CHANGES IN YOUR CONTEXT - WHAT OTHER FACTORS CAN YOU IDENTIFY?

7 360 degree listening Listening to the context/ culture
Listening to ourselves and the Christian culture from which we come Listening to both in prayer, listening for where God is speaking

8 Listening to ourselves
Where is the gap between you are and where the people are you wish to reach? What makes you feel uncomfortable about the group of people you are seeking to reach? Why? What underlies this? What are your values? What ought they to be?

9 Text Text Text Text Text

10 Listen to your congregation...

11 Listening in your local area
Talk with people Read the local paper (neighbourhoods) Notice patterns and places where people meet Notice how and about what people communicate (esp networks) Find out the needs and issues What are the values?

12 Ask God Mission is finding out what God is doing and joining in…. So, ask him What are You doing? How do You want us to join in Discerning God’s call can take time (Acts ) Listening is not just for the beginning of a church but needed throughout its development

13 All Saints, Sheepy Magna - Leicesterhire
Need for Village Post Office Need

14 Sunday 4.6 Worship different in style to what was
previously available locally

15 Xpressions Café Ability to come and go

16 Cafeplus+ need for community meeting
First Sunday of the month 9:30am - 12:30pm The Village Hall, Haddenham,  Bucks Cafeplus+ offers a place to: chill out over a cup of real coffee & the Sunday papers meet your friends or make new ones! take the children for some fun activities get some peace in our 'quiet space' enjoy breakfast and some 'Food4thought' join in a range of different activities for young and old alike

17 A better time for families
Messy Church A better time for families

18 Youth Church/ Networks
Helping teenage disciples to grow and reach out

19 Connecting with Agricultural Roots & Seasons
Tolland & elsewhere Connecting with Agricultural Roots & Seasons

20 Neo-monastic movements
Hunger for Spiritual depth

21 What should we ask? Knowing and telling Clockface questions
Questions that tick

22 Inverted triangle – “the funnel”
Max number of people Min gospel content Social engagement - create lots of contacts to invite S1 intro some spiritual content - story S2 Alpha Truths of the Gospel Prayer S3 Max gospel content Min number of people Gospel & response R K Discipleship in church community

23 Inverted triangle – “the funnel”
Everyone is at a different place on their journey All are moving at a different pace So we don’t increase the gospel/spiritual content But invite those who are ready to the next level In this way we respect them and keep trust The motive is love .. to help their journey

24 Fishing pools… stepping stones
Events that increase the gospel “temperature” S1 S2 S3 R K

25 Exercise in groups 12 mins
Chose a mission field from one of your group? What are they already doing to provide S1, R stepping stones Where are the gaps? What could fill them?? 12 mins

26 Connecting with lonely retired people
Natter church Connecting with lonely retired people

27 Stepping stones in “natter church”
S 1 – “natter” – a weekly afternoon drop in S 2/3 – “natter plus” – fortnightly stay for discipleship S 3/R – “natter Alpha” – once per year K – “natter with God” – monthly service after natter

28 How does listening feel?
Overwhelming – what can we do? Frustrating/Inactive – when are we going to get on with it? Uncomfortable – you will find out things you don’t want to hear Surprising –God at work in unexpected places The further the culture you are trying to reach is away from your own culture, the longer it will take for you to understand what is going on

29 Inculturation involves sacrifice
'Dying to live’ INCULTURATION - PRINCIPLE DYING TO LIVE Dying to live is part of the obedient Christian life - at baptism we talk of “dying to sin that we may live his risen life”. It is especially true of the church in mission. We will have to make sacrifices. For example - Christian young people are needed to become missionaries to their peers. The growth of a successful youth congregation may draw away the last few young people from your older congregation. That is the price of their contemporaries hearing the gospel in a way they can relate to. The vicar only has so much time - we may have to make difficult choices about where to spend it. The bit that hurts most is money - will we invest in keeping things going for as long as possible - or in trying to reach new people with the gospel. “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed… but God gives it a body as he has determined.” 1 Corinthians

30 “As the Father sent me, so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit.”
In John Chapter 20, the risen Jesus says to his disciples “As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. This verse is at the heart of what it means to be an apostolic church. To be apostolic is not just to follow the teaching of the apostles but also to share the commission of the apostles. αποστελλω − means to send, to commission. And here is the commission that Jesus gives to his followers. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” What does he mean? - Immediately before, Jesus has showed them his hands and side - a visual aid if you like - they to are called to the life of dying to live. Immediately after, he bestows upon them the Holy Spirit and bids them to proclaim the forgiveness of sins. In the same way the Father sent Jesus …. To become different to become like those to whom he was sent … To engage in incarnational identification and counter cultural challenge … To be willing to die to present glory & take the form of a dying slave .. As he died and rose different and the same … So we are sent in mission to the world. “As the Father sent me, so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit.”

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